Review: Ship to Shore by Elizabeth Adams

Posted March 29, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 31 Comments

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Ship to Shore by Elizabeth Adams
Ship to Shore

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
two-flames


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on December 30, 2019
Pages: 301
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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The Delight

A simple kind gesture for a third grade class project lands their teacher and a lonely navy commander with their very own old-fashioned penpals.  This gently-paced, heartwarming old-style correspondence courtship was a touching change of pace.


Review

Ship to Shore begins with Maggie mailing off her class’ letter project and batch of cookies to a military service organization right before Thanksgiving while fending off her mother’s remarks about her being a disappointment even while pushing yet another possible date at her from her mother’s circle.  Maggie enjoys being a teacher and is in no rush to get married until she finds the right guy.  In the meantime, she figures it can do no harm writing back to the nice sailor who wrote to thank her and her class for the package.

Lt. Commander Hawkins is touched by the nice lonely old lady teacher who wants to be penpals and he agrees.  It is not long before he realizes his penpal is not so old and rather sweet.  Hawkins finds her easy to write his thoughts and feelings to about his sister cutting him off because he warned her about the man she was marrying, about his dad’s stubbornness and failing health, and to tease her about her guesses over his first name.

Maggie finds Hawkins just as easy a corresponding partner and tells him about her beloved sister’s jerk boyfriend and her desire to make him history along with all the inner dynamics of her large family.

Months go by and their steady correspondence leads to more.  Its time to meet and decide if the person in the letters is the same in person.  If so, what comes next?

Ship to Shore was light and sweet, but endearing.  The building relationship in the letters developed slowly as friends that the pair never realized was becoming more because it was such a gradual thing.  You don’t see this type of true slow burn these days and I found it adorable and refreshing.  It was utterly believable and enchanting as a result.  It felt cozy and oh so adorable.

Now, did it lag at times?  Sure.  And, was it too low-angst when it comes to conflict?  For many it will be.  There was just enough external conflict for each of them separately and they did stand the test of time and distance without seeing each other so I had no boredom issues.  It was actually a nice change of pace to read about two adults communicating and behaving with maturity.
I did find it funny that the biggest explosions of conflict were not between the couple.  There were two and both involved Maggie and other people.  She might seem like a cuddly little grade school teacher, but when it involved people interfering with Hawkins, she turns into a bear.  He is one lucky guy and he knows it.  Unlike half her family, Hawkins appreciates the beautiful, talented woman just as she is.

The story went back and forth between Maggie and Hawkins as narrators though Maggie does get the bulk of the narration.  I enjoyed getting to know them as people through their letters and reactions to each other’s letters.  Maggie had her sister Sarah cautioning her about writing to a stranger and Hawkins had his navy pal, Davis, teasing him and tickled pink that he was writing Maggie.  Now, that would be a fun story between Sarah and Davis.

I think my only real quibble was that I felt the ending just kind of stopped without the feeling of a true wrap up.  It’s not that an of the major points were left unresolved, but I was expecting a little more.

Besides the romance which was assuredly friends to lovers with a great deal of time on the friends side, the emphasis on family was strong which I loved.  Maggie’s relationship with her family and Hawkins with his were strong elements.  Issues with some family members staying wide open were part of what left me mildly disappointed in the ending.  Though, it was true to life that some issues in families never resolve.

All in all, I think it was a fabulous low-key character-driven romance.  I’ve been wishing to try a full length story from this author and was well-pleased with this one and can’t wait to pick up more from her backlist.  I would recommend this story to those who enjoy sweet, slowburn, and low-angst contemporary romance.

Extra Story:  Swap Meet
Fun short romcom when the Bennet sisters and their dates meet and decide a swap might be in order.  Fabulous character development and flirty chemistry!

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Challenges Met

Literary Pickers #47 Japan
Romanceopoly #20 Library (free choice)


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
7 months ago

I like the penpal part of this story. It sounds like it was pretty good.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, it was neat to have them do a romance almost entirely through letters and emails.

sherry fundin
7 months ago

your review makes it sound interesting and a bit different from the norm
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

Thanks, Sherry! It was a neat old-fashioned style romance. 🙂

Christina Boyd
Christina Boyd
7 months ago

Sophie you have to read her ON EQUAL GROUND. It’s my favorite!

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Christina Boyd

I have a couple of hers that I have my eye on. Thanks for the recommend, Christina!

Ethan
7 months ago

The way these two meet is so cute! Love the sound of this one!

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Ethan

It truly was, Ethan! 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

It’s nice to have a low-angst story and a romance develop through letter writing sounds lovely. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! 🙂

Sophia Rose
7 months ago

Yes, it was a good change of pace and particularly the romance through letters.

Lover of Romance
7 months ago

oh wow….I hate it when the ending stops so abruptly ….that is the worst. Hope your next read turns out better for you

Sophia Rose
7 months ago

I was curious about so much when it just stopped. But good new, Renee, the author says there is a sequel. 🙂

Nadene
7 months ago

I love the idea behind this story. Slow burn and low angst are all good.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

Yes, it was neat that it was a letter and email exchange. I love those elements, too. 🙂

Glynis
Glynis
7 months ago

I’m currently reading this book and thoroughly enjoying it! I’m not a big angst lover so this is perfect! I did read the bonus story when posted but look forward to reading it all in one go.
I love all of Elizabeth’s books so I was looking forward to this! What a lovely couple they make, and I love the occasional humour when they write after drinking!
I dId like this review so thank you.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Glynis

The bonus story was fun. 🙂

I can’t wait to keep going with her older books after reading this one. Thank you, Glynis! 🙂

JanisB
JanisB
7 months ago

I enjoyed this book very much too (and left a positive review at amazon), and had the same reaction to the ending. If you have not yet read Green Card you must do so immediately. I’ve read it twice already, and will likely read it again!

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  JanisB

An Amazon review is a great gift to the author. I’ll have to head over and check out what you thought, Janis.

Thanks! I definitely want to read Green Card.

Carole Rae
7 months ago

eeee not crazy about endings like that.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yeah, I’m way to curious for that, but good news, there will be a sequel, I’m told. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I really like the premise of this story, something different is great. It might need to be a little longer book or cover a longer time period to get more closure I would think. Excellent review!

Sophia Rose
7 months ago

It was lovely and different. Author has shared that she has a sequel planned which I didn’t know about until after I wrote up this review. So woohoo, we get answers. 🙂

Jen
Jen
7 months ago

This sounds sweet. I love the concept of pen pals. And during these crazy times, low-conflict sounds good to me.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  Jen

Yes, exactly! I don’t need any unnecessary drama, either. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I just read a penpal romance. This looks sweet.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago

It was so adorable. I’m hoping to read a second penpal romance in a few weeks. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

This sounds like such a sweet and old fashioned romance. I love that the author took the time to develop the friendship aspect, before their relationship progressed into something more. I enjoy when stories emphasize family relationships also, and that aspect sounds like a great part of the story. Lovely Review Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
7 months ago

The easing from strangers to friendship to love was so well handled. Thanks, Lindy! 🙂

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

How sweet. Sometimes it is hard to find actual sweet stories these days.

Sophia Rose
7 months ago

Very true, Sarah! I love this one that reflects authentic and yet less jaded romance.

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
Reply to  Sophia Rose

Less jaded is a great way to describe. Everything is so jaded these days!